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    Softball Heads to Florida for Pair of Nonconference Games
     
    Senior Kirsty Grant
    Senior Kirsty Grant
     

    April 11, 2014

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    RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State softball team will step out of Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play this weekend, when it makes the trip down to Gainesville, Fla., for a pair of games. The Wolfpack will take on the Florida A&M Rattlers at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 prior to facing the host Florida Gators at 3 p.m. at Pressly Softball Stadium.

    Saturday’s game will be the first meeting between the Wolfpack (25-10) and Rattlers (15-21). State has played Florida (34-8) three times in the history of the programs and owns a 2-1 series lead. In 2007, the Pack made its only prior trip to the University of Florida and won both games.

    The Gators were ranked No. 19 nationally at the time and NC State was able to win the first game on Feb. 17, 2007, in eight innings, 1-0, before returning to the field the next day and earning a 4-3 victory against Florida.

    In the Wolfpack’s last outing, it swept a doubleheader against the East Carolina Pirates. The Pack won the first game 7-2 and won an 11-inning thriller in the second game, 5-4. It was the first extra inning game that the squad has played this season.

    Sophomore Lana Van Dyken hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift State to a victory in the second game. It was her first of the season.

    NC State enters the weekend on a seven-game win streak and has outscored opponents 49-19 during that span. In nonconference play this season, the Wolfpack has compiled a 13-6 record.

    For the season, State is 19-3 when scoring the first run of a game. The team is also 23-1 when plating at least three runs in the game.

    SCOUTING FLORIDA 
    The Florida Gators enter the weekend with a 34-8 record on the year and are currently ranked sixth in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and eighth in the ESPN.com/USA and ASA Softball top-25 polls.

    Florida swept Auburn in a three-game series at home last weekend and defeated No. 8 Florida State, 4-2, in their last outing on Wednesday.

    Kelsey Stewart leads the team offensively with 57 hits and a .385 batting average. The sophomore second baseman was an All-SEC Freshman Team selection last season. Lauren Haeger, a 2013 All-America first team honoree, supplies the power in the Gators’ lineup with a team-leading 10 home runs on the year.

    In the circle, Florida returns 2013 All-American Hannah Rogers. The senior hurler leads the staff with a 17-6 record and a 1.86 earned run average (ERA). Haeger also pitches for the team and has an ERA of 2.04, complemented by an 11-1 record.

    SCOUTING FLORIDA A&M 
    The Florida A&M Rattlers have compiled a 15-21 record to this point in the season, including a 7-11 mark in neutral site contests.

    Last weekend, the Rattlers dropped a three-game series against North Carolina A&T. Florida A&M lost the first game, but won the second game before losing Sunday’s contest. On Wednesday, they picked up a 7-3 win at Jacksonville University.

    Amber Fullwood paces the squad in hitting with a .324 batting average and a team-leading 34 hits. Denise Anderson is second on the team with a .305 clip and 25 hits. She also has a team-best five homers on the year.

    The Rattlers’ primary pitcher is Ashleigh Minter who has a 7-9 record in 2014 to go along with a 3.48 ERA. Kenya Pererira is second on the team in appearances with 23 and has started nine games. She has a 3.93 ERA with a 4-6 mark.

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